/ Food & Drink

Christmas pudding – do you love it or hate it?

Christmas pudding

Will you be making a Christmas pudding this year? Or are you heading to the shops to buy one? Or even, are you wondering why anyone likes eating this stodgy and out-dated pud?

The last Sunday before advent is the day that families are supposed to make their Christmas pudding. It’s called ‘stir-up Sunday’, partly due to the prayer that was said on this day and partly because families used to take it in turns to stir the ingredients and make a wish.

But do people care about Christmas pudding any more? A quick snapshot survey in the office revealed quite a few people can’t stand Christmas pudding – giving reasons ranging from it’s too stodgy, takes too long to cook if you don’t have a microwave, doesn’t taste nice and isn’t exactly what they want to eat after a morning spent eating chocolates followed by a full roast.

Christmas pudding tradition

Personally, I love Christmas pudding. For me it’s as much a part of the tradition as leaving out a Best Buy mince pie for Santa and toasting the festive season with a glass of Best Buy Champagne or, if I’m feeling less flush, a Best Buy sparkling wine that costs under £10. I like my slice of pud with double cream -if you’re going to use single, you may as well pour on milk – and I’m not adverse to some brandy butter, either.

However, I have noticed that I’m in the minority. On Christmas Day this year, for instance, I’m staying with family who prefer mince pies for their festive pudding. There’s nothing wrong with that, and the Best Buy mince pies revealed in our latest taste test are certainly very good. But it’s not quite as special as watching someone trying to light the pud and get it to the table before the flames go out.

What pudding do you eat for Christmas?

I wouldn’t dream of bringing along a Christmas pud just for me – not only will that be a bit rude, but no matter how much I like the taste, I think even I’ll go off it if I have to eat a whole one by myself.

I will happily eat some leftovers cold the next day, though. And amongst those in favour of Christmas pud at Which? HQ, uses for leftovers have included making Christmas pudding ice cream using an ice-cream maker, or incorporating bits of Christmas pud into truffles.

So come on, let us know – will you be eating Christmas pudding on the big day, and do you make it or buy it? Or do you think Christmas pud is outdated? Tell us about your festive pudding favourites.

Comments
Member

I love Christmas pudding and always leave room for a decent portion. Home-made Christmas pud rarely disappoints and for me it is the most enjoyable aspect of the meal.

In contrast, I am usually disappointed by the Christmas pudding at pre-Christmas functions. A diminutive helping that is sometimes burned by reheating in a microwave oven. A microwave is great for reheating Christmas pud, providing it is not on full-power.

I look out for discounted Christmas puddings after the festive period, to provide something to look forward to during the dull, wet days of January.

Member
Brian Wootton says:
1 December 2013

Used to love my mother’s Christmas pud, sticky is not the word for it, all fruit – no added sugar. And she didn’t waste the brandy either, that all went into the sauce, whey-hey. I’m diabetic now, so all my Christmas pud eating takes in my imagination -ahh!

Member
David says:
1 December 2013

Stir up Sunday was last week (24 Nov), not this week.

Member

You’re right David. We’ve tweaked the post.

Member

Christmas pud is all part of the ritual – once a year is enough though (its too sweet for me, like mince pies), but part of the fun, just as is turkey and crackers – much prefer duck, beef and ham, but we’d be slaughtered if we didn’t have it.
I prefer the cold stuff on the days after the feast- turkey, ham, beef, and a good sherry trifle – plus home-made warm sausage rolls.

Member
Carole says:
1 December 2013

I’m with the ‘love it’ brigade, but it has to be home made and that is me these days. We had a pud even in the days of food rationing somehow or another, I was too young to care about the details, but I remember spending what seemed like hours picking over the fruit, didn’t seem to be seedless in the 50s. It was always accompanied by Birds custard, except for Dad who insisted on white sauce which was nicknamed billposter’s bucket.

Member
Paul Mylum says:
1 December 2013

I love Christmas Pudding although I’ve never had a home made one.

I buy a good quality pudding when they’re on sale in January and keep it for the next Christmas as they will only improve with age. Just bung it in the back of the cupboard and forget about it until December.

I haven’t had a problem with microwaving it but as was said above I heat mine on a low setting for a longer amount of time. When it’s ready cover it in fairly hot brandy that’s been heated in a saucepan and light – this way seems to work as I used to have problems with lighting it before.

As it’s so filling I like to eat mine drenched in single cream which also cuts the sweetness slightly.

There always plenty left over so I often have it again as a midnight feast – well if you cant be naughty then when can you be!

Member

First time I’ve heard of stir-up Sunday in the real world, rather then on the Archers. I have no fondness for turkey dinners or Christmas pudding, and only tolerate it all to avoid being deemed a misery guts.

Member
Stephen Richards says:
2 December 2013

Easy choice Christmas pud and mince pie together with double cream, although I am only one in house who eats christmas pudding now. Mince pies this year will definitely be Aldi one’s as recommended in Which, they are excellent!

Member
Hillary Spriggs says:
2 December 2013

I love Christmas pud, it is the highlight of the Christmas meal for me. I prefer home-made – it`s not difficult but I like shop bought as well. Before I subscribed to Which I used to read the reviews and choose one accordingly.
I think shop bought are usually a little firm and dry if microwaved but steaming improves them and makes them lovely and moist.
Yes, Aldi`s Christmas pudding is excellent. Served with cream, mmmmmm!

Member
Beverley Saville White says:
8 December 2013

I love Christmas pudding and I love tradition several years ago Thornton’s chocolate shop used to sell Christmas puddings with Chocolate, they have not done them since. Could we start a campaign for Thornton’s chocolate to resume making and selling their chocolate Christmas puddings again.

Kind Regards

Beverley

Member

If you make your own Christmas pudding, a pressure cooker is meant to cook it in 1/3 of the time.

I always buy Christmas pudding, but I’d NEVER use my microwave to heat it (I have done in the past, but it ruins the taste!). I use my pressure cooker to heat it and the results are definitely better. To reheat a “normal” sized Christmas pudding, pierce the film lid with a fork several times and pressure cook for 30 minutes, then afterwards let the pressure drop naturally, which takes about 5 – 10 minutes, before the lid can be opened.

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this already.

Member

Many a Christmas pudding has been ruined by re-heating in a microwave, but that is because it is necessary to use a low power setting to avoid overheating.

Pressure cookers are great for making Christmas puddings. I don’t know if it is possible to make a decent Christmas pudding in a microwave but my own efforts were failures.

Member

I have cooked and reheated a pudding in the microwave but only when I have used the microwave cookbook Christmas pudding recipe. I normally use a traditional recipe and cook in the pressure cooker. I will be reheating in the pressure cooker as well this year. Other years I have taken the Christmas Pud to the host household and I do not know how they reheated it.

I also buy the Which Best Buy Christmas Pud as a backup in case mine is a disaster. As the home cooked one has always been well received it has meant that the ‘backup’ either gets eaten on another day or I get to eat it portion by portion over the following weeks.

BUT where am I going to buy my back up from this year. No Which Best Buy to be seen. Has anyone actually tried out any of those for sale this year.

Member

We like the idea of Christmas pudding but in fact haven’t eaten one for several years. They are still sitting in the cupboard. Nobody is interested after the turkey.

We only really like home-made mince pies as bought ones are too rich and sweet. We like really thin pastry and mince pies are best warm. Adding other things to the mince-meat such as extra apple or cream cheese or apricot before cooking improve bought ones although they tend to have too much pastry.

For years we only ate fresh fruit salad after the turkey but that is no longer such a special pudding as it can be bought so easily ready-made. Most puddings are too sweet or rich or heavy.
I like the idea of Christmas pudding ice cream. After the military like manoeuvre of getting the main course all ready on time and cooked to perfection – the next course needs to be light and easy to serve!